A Conservative-led council has voiced fury after it the Home Office announced it had moved forward plans to open a centre for asylum seekers at a former RAF training base.
A meeting of Hambleton District Council yesterday heard claims the Home Office had treated the residents of Linton on Ouse and the surrounding area with “complete contempt” by revealing that 60 people would be arriving at the centre in the isolated village from May 31, weeks earlier than it previously stated.
Ministers have insisted the centre would “provide safe and self-sufficient accommodation”. They say the centre, where Prince William trained as pilot, would help end the Home Office’s reliance on expensive hotels which are costing the taxpayer £4.7million a day.
The authority’s leader, Councillor Mark Robson, said the Home Office’s announcement, during a meeting with the police and crime commissioner, Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake and himself had come as “a bit of a bombshell”.
He said: “What we were told four to six weeks just before Easter has suddenly become two weeks’ time. I’m in no doubt about how much worry and concern there is in the local community and the surrounding areas about this proposal from government.”